Infrastructure is nothing more than the flow of how things done. One of the most important factors in making any business succeed is its’ ability to repeat processes and procedures over and over again.
Infrastructure can be simple or very complex. The smoother, the simpler, and more user friendly the infrastructure the more likely the organization will succeed.
This past week I met with a couple who are in the middle starting a new business. They have a great product that is about to leave the prototype phase. When I asked them about the color scheme they wanted on their website, their faces went blank.
The more I quizzed this couple about things like logo, color, and marketing, the more they admitted they had not considered those things. They figure those things would just happen.
Good infrastructure does not just happen. I have spent my whole life looking for the best possible office tools and marketing tools. To this day I must admit I have some some that seem to work well.
I do know that to have a good working infrastructure it must be user friendly, to the point where people will use it with minimal training. If it is any more than that, it will be hard to implement and possibly fail.
A few years ago, I was ask to setup Quickbooks POS for a small business. Up to then all they used was paper receipts. We got the software and start the long process of converting his customer tracking over. His two daughters were computer literate and wanted to see the business move into the 21st century.
However, the owner did not want to turn loose of the old system. It had worked for him for years. He did not want to go through the learning curve to the new system or turn loose of all those pieces of paper.
After a month of struggle, I was starting to see arguments developing into fighting between the owner and his daughters. I realized that the owner was not going to turn loose of his old system.
I tell you this story because his paper infrastructure was limiting his growth. Because he was unwilling to turn loose of his paper system, and adapt to the new more efficient method, he was going to be unable to expand past one store. Where he still at today.